Schmidt, Gary

Schmidt, Gary D. Almost Time. Boston: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.
A lovely picture book about a little boy waiting for the weather to get cold enough to tap the maple trees for syrup. Full-page illustrations by the award winning illustrator G. Brian Karas accompany a simple story told by an award-winning author and his late wife, Elizabeth Stickney. Highly recommended for readers 5 to 8 years old who have experienced the frustrations of waiting. 

Schmidt, Gary D. Just Like That. Boston: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021.
Meryl Lee is sent to a posh boarding school in Maine where wealthy students are clearly considered superior. Unfortunately, she is not wealthy. Meanwhile, Matt has run away – with a pillowcase full of money – from a criminal gang and is hiding in a seaside shack. The two teenagers meet and begin a fragile friendship. Set in 1968 during the Vietnam war, this young adult novel addresses political issues, religious beliefs, and social justice. Highly recommended for readers 12 years old and up. 

Schmidt, Gary D. The Labors of Hercules Beal. New York: Clarion Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2023.
Hercules’s seventh grade teacher has assigned a project: replicate in real life the twelve labours of the mythical Hercules. This could be a silly spoof of story. But the author is the award-winning Gary Schmidt, so you can be assured that while full of outrageous antics, this well-crafted novel is not light-weight entertainment. While completing his project, Hercules discovers that despite his parents’ death, he is not actually alone and unwanted in this world. Recommended without reservations for readers 11 to 14 years old. 

Lizzie Bright

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Clarion Books, 2004.
Turner is not pleased when his father moves the family to Phippsburg, Maine. He is even less pleased when his father, a church minister, expects him to always behave with dignity and diplomacy. But when he is also expected to go along with the growing racism that is forcing African Americans from their homes, he takes a stand which brings about surprising changes.  Set in 1911, this novel for sixth to ninth graders is a Newbery Honor Book. (Clergy; Maine; Newbery Medal; FaithMoving, Household; Fathers and sons; African Americans; Racism; Historical fiction; Coming of age)

Schmidt, Gary D. and Elizabeth Stickney. A Long Road on a Short Day. Boston, New York: Clarion Books, 2020.
Samuel and his papa set out on an adventure on a cold snowy day. All they have to trade for the cow needed to provide milk for the baby waiting in Mama’s arms is a knife. Will they succeed in their quest before nightfall drives them back to the safety and warmth of the indoors? A short 59-page novella illustrated by Eugene Yelchin highly recommended for readers 6 to 10 years old. Wonderful as a read-aloud or to share as a reader’s theatre story.

Schmidt, Gary D. and Elizabeth Stickney. One Smart Sheep. Boston: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021.
Wilson is one smart sheep. And friendly. And handsome. Unfortunately, Wilson is also a little bit lonely so when he discovers his gate unlocked, he sets off on an adventure. Fortunately, Abigail notices that he has disappeared and sets out – with Tippy her collie dog and Jeremiah her neighbour – to rescue him. This charming little novel – full of humour, elegantly designed with a large font and widely spaced lines, and softly illustrated by Jane Manning – is perfect for young readers. Highly recommended as a read-aloud.

Schmidt, Gary D. Pay Attention, Carter Jones. Boston: Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

Life can be chaotic and a bit crazy. That’s normal in a busy family with three kids and a father stationed overseas with the U.S. army. Well, it was normal until a bowler-hatted man appears at the door and announces that he has come from England to help them. His former employer, the children’s grandfather, has left a bequest providing the services of a full-time butler. Mr. Bowles does a lot more than keep the household in order. He helps sixth-grader Carter see life from a new perspective and supports the whole family when there’s a painful surprise. A humorous yet serious story recommended for readers 11 years old and up.

Schmidt, Gary D. Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert. Boston: Clarion Books, 2012.
His father was a Spanish nobleman. His mother was a slave. Born into poverty and sent to work as a servant, there was no bright future for Martin. But miracles happen. And miracles followed this boy from Peru. The lemon trees he planted bore fruit all year long. The bread he gave to the poor never ran out until everyone was fed. The people he treated were healed.  He quietly died in a monastery in 1639, but miracles continued and he was named as the first black saint in the Americas in 1962. Born to be forgotten, Martin de Porres is now known as the patron saint of social justice. This beautiful picture book biography – illustrated by David Diaz – is highly recommended for people of faith and for all those who carry within themselves a reverence for mystery.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email